[ale] [OT] Online Bill Pay

Jim Philips jcphil at mindspring.com
Thu Dec 4 22:28:38 EST 2003

On Thursday 04 December 2003 09:49 pm, James P. Kinney III wrote:
> On Thu, 2003-12-04 at 21:27, David Corbin wrote:
> > I've seen some threads about this before, so I don't feel too bad about
> > bringing it up.  I recently started online bill pay with Wachovia +
> > Quicken.
> >
> > I found out the hard way, there is no way to find if a payment is sent
> > electronically or via snailMail (short of speaking with a person), and
> > there's no way to print out a confirmation of single payment (something
> > you can show the bill-er as proof).
> >
> > Can anyone tell me if other banks/bill pay services have better support
> > for this?
> They all stink. Read the fine print and it is all the same. You must
> authorize the transaction to occur 5 business days before the due date
> of the bill. This is how CheckFree (scum) makes the bulk of their money.
> They trade on the float time since that cash is pulled out of your
> account immediately. Then they issue a paper check that takes another
> 2-3 days to clear back to them for a bit more cash.

Wrong on several counts. CheckFree pays more than 50% of its merchants 
electronically. And they prefer to pay electronically, because it costs them 
a whole lot less money and trouble. The bank has the option of sending 
verified funds to CheckFree and there is no chance of anything bouncing that 
way. But some banks don't like this, because they make money when your 
payment bounces. If the bank does send verified funds, then, yes, CheckFree 
makes money on the funds until the merchant completes the debit. If your bank 
is paying on the "pay and pray" model, the funds aren't taken out right away, 
but your payment can bounce. CheckFree charges the bank more for this 
service, because they aren't getting the float. 

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